**76**: 420

https://doi.org/10.1140/epjc/s10052-016-4275-6

Regular Article - Theoretical Physics

## Cosmological implications of modified gravity induced by quantum metric fluctuations

^{1}
School of Physics, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, People’s Republic of China

^{2}
Yat Sen School, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, People’s Republic of China

^{3}
Department of Physics, Babes-Bolyai University, Kogalniceanu Street, Cluj-Napoca, 400084, Romania

^{4}
Department of Mathematics, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK

^{5}
State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Material and Technology, Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Display Material and Technology, School of Physics, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, People’s Republic of China

^{*} e-mail: t.harko@ucl.ac.uk

Received:
4
July
2016

Accepted:
17
July
2016

Published online:
28
July
2016

We investigate the cosmological implications of modified gravities induced by the quantum fluctuations of the gravitational metric. If the metric can be decomposed as the sum of the classical and of a fluctuating part, of quantum origin, then the corresponding Einstein quantum gravity generates at the classical level modified gravity models with a non-minimal coupling between geometry and matter. As a first step in our study, after assuming that the expectation value of the quantum correction can be generally expressed in terms of an arbitrary second order tensor constructed from the metric and from the thermodynamic quantities characterizing the matter content of the Universe, we derive the (classical) gravitational field equations in their general form. We analyze in detail the cosmological models obtained by assuming that the quantum correction tensor is given by the coupling of a scalar field and of a scalar function to the metric tensor, and by a term proportional to the matter energy-momentum tensor. For each considered model we obtain the gravitational field equations, and the generalized Friedmann equations for the case of a flat homogeneous and isotropic geometry. In some of these models the divergence of the matter energy-momentum tensor is non-zero, indicating a process of matter creation, which corresponds to an irreversible energy flow from the gravitational field to the matter fluid, and which is direct consequence of the non-minimal curvature-matter coupling. The cosmological evolution equations of these modified gravity models induced by the quantum fluctuations of the metric are investigated in detail by using both analytical and numerical methods, and it is shown that a large variety of cosmological models can be constructed, which, depending on the numerical values of the model parameters, can exhibit both accelerating and decelerating behaviors.

*© The Author(s), 2016*